How to Setup Knox Security on a Compatible Samsung Phone

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If you haven’t already heard of it, Samsung’s Knox is a security environment supported by some of Samsung’s highest-tier smartphones, including the Note 3, Note 4, and Galaxy S5 and S6. The service is only available on devices that have a special encryption chip installed in the factory, and as long as that’s onboard, you can keep the most important details of your daily worklife protected and under wraps.

The system was designed to take even more market share away from BlackBerry who, despite tanking almost completely in the consumer market over the past several years, still maintains a strong grip in the government section providing wholesale secure phone contracts for the likes of the US Department of Defense, the CIA, and the FBI.

So when it comes to keeping your phone as safe as some of the top military agencies in the world, the process of setting up Knox is a breeze.

Initial Setup

As an individual, most of the setup you do will happen through Samsung’s own “My Knox” app, which can be found in the Google Play store here. In My Knox, you’ll find most of what you’ll need to set up secure, encrypted channels of communication for everything you use from email, to messaging, Internet searches and even secure pictures taken through the camera.

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Once the default Knox apps are loaded, everything you do from within Knox will be untraceable in your outside apps. As such, it’s recommended that you create an independent email (generally tied to your work or @Samsung.com account) that will be for use only within Knox. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to constantly switch in and out of the app to manage your communications, which is an extra hassle that no one needs to deal with.

Segregating Apps

After that, you can select the apps that you want to run specifically within Knox’s secure container. This can be anything from productivity programs like your Google Drive folder to Angry Birds, if you’re especially concerned that a hacker might try and use your high score against you.

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All apps and utilities contained within the Knox sandbox run in a unique environment, separated from everything that happens on the default phone to maintain a firewall that information can’t pass between unless you specifically ask it to beforehand.

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Once the firewall is raised, no data or information is allowed to transmit between the two environments. This is how Knox maintains the core structure of its encryption, and you’ll always know which sandbox you’re working within thanks to a handy icon that will appear in the top right section of your notification bar.

Switching Out

But, in case you’re jumping between work and pleasure regularly, wIth the Knox app icon you can easily snap between your regular phone and the Knox secure environment, and never have to mix up the two when you’re at the office or on a night out in the town with friends or family.

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You can also keep independent copies of your apps installed both in the stock phone and within Knox, meaning that if you want two messaging feeds, two Twitter accounts, or two emails (as described above) attached to a single device, Knox is a great way to multitask between them, while simultaneously remaining secure.


Once My Knox is fully configured to your particular settings and up and running, you’re all set to go! Whether it’s your company’s next big IP, an invention you’re cooking up in the garage without a patent, or high-level confidential documents for the government, Knox is the best way for Samsung users to be sure that their data stays protected and away from the eyes of any prying hackers or the general public.

Image Credit: Samsung 1, 2, 3

Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised around tech from birth, he's had an interest in PC hardware and networking technology for years, and has come to How-To Geek to contribute his knowledge on both. You can follow him on Twitter here.